Visitors are traveling through the Pass of the Great Saint Bernard on mules. They arrive at a convent. The cold, thin air and fatigue discourages conversation until they reach the convent. Other guests had arrived before, and there is much confusion.
There are three groups herded into the parlor. The Dorrits have the largest entourage but are also the slowest moving. The newlywed Gowans are another party. The last party is made up of a German tutor with three pupils.
One of the gentleman expresses concern for Amy Dorrit, who had seemed overly tired. The guides had told him she had recovered, which Mr. Dorrit confirms. She is not used to the mountains. Fanny finds the mode of traveling inconvenient but not tiring.
Mrs. General claims despite the discomfort, one must see this place.
Mr. Gowan alights himself sitting too close to the fireplace. Meanwhile, Mrs Gowan has fainted. Mr. Gowan takes her to his room.
Mr. Dorrit remarks to Mr. Gowan’s friend that Mr. Gowan is rather impatient. The friend agrees. He confirms that the lady is his friend’s wife. The friend also remarks that though he man is an artist, he is from a well-connected family.
The friend relates how Mrs. Gowan had fallen from her saddle. She seemed okay but complained later of bruises on her side.
The artist admires the convent’s dogs, particularly the well known one who is often dispatched to give aide. However, he hasn’t had the opportunity to save any lives—though he is willing.
Mr. Gowan claims only smugglers come this late in the winter.
Mr. Dorrit pities the host for the long months they are confined. The host doesn’t find it bothersome.
Amy goes to Mrs. Gowan’s room. She recognizes Mrs. Gowan as the woman Arthur Clennam had loved. Amy feels inferior to her.
Mrs. Gowan tells her she misses her parents. Amy gives her a note Arthur had written. The note say that Amy will be a good friend. Amy asks if he revealed her history. Mrs. Gowan said no.
Amy asks Pet not to speak of the letter, so Pet returns it to her so her husband won’t see it. Amy promises to tell Arthur that Pet is well and happy.
Another traveler encounters Amy in the hall and escorts her down. Amy is leery of him. She fetches her father, and they retire.
The man who escorted Amy down looks at the book, which contains the names of all who are there. The man writes his own name, his origin, and his destination. He is Mr. Blandois.